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Federal funding for preparedness at health departments suffers cuts.

Continued cuts in local health department funding provided through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention threaten important, hard-won advances made in recent years in planning for public health threats, according to a report released in September by the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Most local health departments significantly increased their capacity to anticipate and respond to public health emergencies since Sept. 11, 2001, thanks in large part to increased federal support. The report found that the percentage of local health departments with a comprehensive emergency response plan rose from 20 percent in 2001 to more than 90 percent this year.

Yet recent funding cuts have led to 40 percent of local health departments delaying or canceling acquisition of equipment and supplies, 28 percent reducing staff time on preparedness, 27 percent delaying completion of preparedness plans and 17 percent delaying or canceling work force training, according to the report.

The report found that CDC distributed $918 million to states, territories and large cities for all-hazards emergency public health preparedness in fiscal year 2002, but over the next five years that funding dropped by 27 percent to $665 million in fiscal year 2007.

The report, "Federal Funding for Public Health Preparedness: Implications and Ongoing Issues for Local Health Departments," is online at www.naccho.org.
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Title Annotation:STATE & LOCAL: Issues at the state and community levels
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:217
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